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Are You Sad?

March 2, 2010

My name is Alice, I am a 29 years old fashion lover, I have a blog called White Rabbit and I am suffering from Seasonal Affected Disorder.

Finally. I’ve just said it. For years I have been in denial, brushing off the obvious signs, blaming the constant sleepiness and lack of enthusiasm on that late movie I watched the previous night, the vitamin pill I forgot to take, the swimming session I missed, but now it is time to face the truth.

I have been living in Ireland for 4 years now and it is always the same. Before Christmas I am doing just fine, but once the holidays are over, it hits me. Food doesn’t taste so delicious anymore, the colours fade, things that inspired me and kept me awake at night loose their appeal. And I am thinking, yeah, January is the most depressing month of the year, then February comes and it is the same, and when spring arrives I blame on the “spring tiredness”. And sometime around May I finally wake up, life gains a new meaning, I am buzzing with ideas, plans, and determination to conquer the world. Until next January, that is.

It has become quite a pattern, really. And let’s face it, 5 month out of 12 is a long time not to be on top of the world. Unless you are a bear, and sleeping through the winter is the most natural thing in the world. I must have been a bear in my previous life.

Ok, I know there are people out there who are affected by SAD much worse then me, and actually need help, but what about us, who are doing relatively fine but with a noticeable decline in the quality of life?

So here is the part when I say that I refuse to be victim and I am ready take control of my life!

As a step one I put together a survival list of tips and trick to overcome this time of the year. I am a sucker for tips and tricks, in case you haven’t noticed. There must be some part of me that loves to have rules and be told what to do as I have been making little guidelines for myself since I was a child!

Here I go:

Where is my coffee?...

Where is my coffee?...

☼Fake it!

The most difficult part of the day is getting out of bed in the morning, let alone making some effort to enhance your appearance. I know you are tempted to put on some old rags, preferably dark jeans an a comfy jumper, maybe some mascara on good days. Don’t! Get a new haircut, put on a lovely outfit, use colours and makeup. Looking a million dollar will make you feel better, no matter how determined you are to feel sorry for yourself.

 ☼Embrace it!

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. You are running a bit lower on energy than usual, your body is telling you this in a hundred different ways, so respect it and be nice to yourself. Have a lot of nights in, cook yourself a nice meal and eat it while watching a light movie, run a hot bath and go to bed early with a good book.

Go on holiday!

 If you can afford it, save up for a sunny holiday, just for a few days! I went to Tenerife for 4 days last year in did wonders!

Surround yourself with inspirational subjects!

 Make some mood boards filled with images that inspire you and keep them where you need them the most!

 ☼ Meet people!

I don’t mean you should try to make it to every single party! Meet your best friends for a cup of coffee or call an old friend you have been meaning to get in touch with for ages. Meeting people can be a great inspiration and having a good old catch up will also boost your energy level!

 Exercise!

I know. It has become a bit of a cliché, but only because it is so true. I started going to the nearby gym for a swimming session during my lunch break and it makes a huge difference.

 ☼ Be healthy!

I bought a bag of keshu nuts in the Asian market, and have a few every day, they are great for me! Cut on meat and alcohol, have fish and lots of water instead! Don’t go overboard though, introducing a few changes into your diet is always good, but changing it drastically is not the best time when you are feeling low. Last year I decided to do a detox and I started by eliminating caffeine, sugar, and meat. I was like a zombie after a few days. No, thank you!

 Distract Yourself!

Take up a new hobby, maybe start a course you have always wanted. Inspiration causes an adrenaline rush and will keep you going!

How do you cope with SAD? Any tips and advise are much appreciated!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2010 3:00 pm

    I’m SO sorry honey! A girlfriend and I were talking about how it used to hit us when we lived up North, and how for one reason, life in the South is better.

    A high school teacher of mine used to hit a tanning bed as part of her doctor ordered prescription for treating SAD. Going for 10-15 minutes a few times a month would inject her body with much needed (fake) sunlight and help elevate her spirits…. I know some may have issues with the suggestion, as of the whole tanning beds & cancer issue, but in limited doses, it may not be a bad idea as well….

  2. White Rabbit permalink*
    March 2, 2010 3:21 pm

    Thank you so much for your advise Ashe!

    Moving to a sunnier country would be a solution but as crazy as it may sound, despite the lack of san, the abundance of rain, and the messed up seasons I actually love Ireland and feel very much at home here….

    I used to go to sunbeds on a regular basis but I was worried about the effects…but you are probably right, in a small amount it might not do any harm!

  3. March 2, 2010 4:03 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that you’ve put your feelings out for the world to read like this, Alice. Honestly, you are not alone; so many people suffer from SAD, but not everyone has the confidence to admit it. I love that you did!

    I find that distraction is truly the best medicine for coping with an abundance of things – especially SAD. It seems the moment you begin focusing your attentions on something else – be it a DIY project, or simply a TV show – you release all of your frustrations, and just feel at peace. 🙂

  4. March 2, 2010 5:37 pm

    I’ve had this ever since I was a teenager. It’s amazing how much it can affect you.

    My best tip is to spend as much time out side as possible, even though it’s cold, and to try and make sure you get plenty of natural light in the house and/or office. It’s even worse if you spend the limited daylight we get cooped up in a dark office!

  5. March 2, 2010 7:42 pm

    An alternative to a tanning bed is to get a full-spectrum lightbulb, which screws into a regular light fixture. You can get them cheap at places that sell exotic pet supplies (I use them for my lizard!).

    This winter has been tough; I wake up at 4 am unable to go back to sleep, and then I’m tired all day and hating my job. I’m definitely ready for the sun to come out and lift my spirits. Hang in there; you’re not alone!

  6. March 2, 2010 9:29 pm

    I know how you feel! Right after the holidays when work went back to full swing at the office I noticed a major decline in my mood.

    It got so bad that I barely got out of bed and began to call out, but the boyfriend nipped that in the bud!

    I think it’s a lot more common and I’m glad you brought it up!

    SavvySugar also had an article similar to this here: http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Tell-Youre-Experiencing-Burnout-7115542

    xox KS

  7. March 2, 2010 11:28 pm

    I am sure so many people have this. I don’t really think I do but I admit as soon as the suncomes out my mood turns sunny.

  8. wulan permalink
    March 3, 2010 6:20 am

    what a great post dear, such a usefull one!
    love to read this.

    http://wulanasihsetyarini.wordpress.com

  9. March 3, 2010 10:12 am

    I wouldn’t want to self-diagnose, but I definitely get that “yergh” feeling a lot more during the winter months. I think the drearyness and lack of sunshine has an impact on more people than one would think, and I think the only cure is to pack up all our belongings and move to Dubai or California. 🙂

    I definitely agree that dressing up and making an effort with colour definitely helps. I recently purchased a very colourful floral umbrella from Primark which definitely helps make me feel more positive on a rainy day!

    – Anna Jane xxx

  10. White Rabbit permalink*
    March 3, 2010 11:33 am

    Wow, some great advice there girls! And thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic!

  11. March 6, 2010 3:59 am

    You’re very brave.

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